Game Day! While Braker is still a puppy and being developed for Susan we thought that she could gain more field trial knowledge by running Dudley in the Amateur. Well they had an interesting run in the Virginia trail. This was the first time Susan went to the line with a brace-mate and with a dog that she has run a few times here in GA. So at this time I will let Susan chime in about her experience during that morning.
Susan your turn!
My 24 seconds with Dudley
Dudley is a well trained seasoned field trial dog and hunting dog. High point Springer a few years ago.
I am a somewhat seasoned hunt test participant. Lesson number one. Field trials require awareness of more than the dog in front of you.
First issue was to figure out the timing to be near the gallery when our number was called. It was one of those set ups where you didn’t want to be walking into the guns so had to do a little anticipating.
With a little fast stepping we were there. Top of a hill, narrow stretch of field with woods on one side and the center line separating us from the very open stretch on the opposite side. Bare spot in front of me as I looked down that hill.
Here is where the trouble began. I started thinking....bad idea. My thought was that Dudley would accelerate down that hill and I needed to begin by pulling him in closer. My thought was it would be best to send him to the tree line because it would be easier to accomplish this.
Unfortunately I was so focused on getting Dudley ‘into compliance’ that I didn’t see the Forrest for the trees.
After maybe 2 casts, our brace mate had a flush and closely shot pheasant. I was in my own world, oblivious to anything else going on, but Dudley was keenly aware. It didn’t occur to me to hup him from my little bubble, and it didn’t occur to Dudley either.
I was so wrapped up in my objective of keeping him on my side that I didn’t even realize he was off for that bird.
Of course the judge says ‘I think you should probably go get him’. He was already on his way back with that bird.
A bit unsure of who might want it so we had a little dance going on until we found each other.
Basically all of that literally in the blink of an eye.
It makes the goal easier for next time....maybe we can get past the first flag .
So if I had a mulligan? I would have moved right through that open spot and tried to get into the rhythm once into cover. Maybe then we would have relaxed into our hunt and things would have clicked better. All conjecture...
Of course everyone tells you about their first time to try to make you feel better. Ha.